« Does Your Law Library Have a Social Media Policy? Does Your Law School Have an Honor Code Policy Covering Student-Posted Online Content? | Main | Airing Dirty Laundry in Public: Kyndra Rotunda Sues George Mason Law for Workplace Sexual Harassment »
October 7, 2009
Director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project on What We Don’t Know About the Internet's Future
"Some aspects of the future of the internet are pretty clear: In the next decade or so, the computing power at our disposal will be more than 20 times greater than it is now and considerably cheaper if Moore’s law continues hold" writes Lee Rainie, Director, Pew Internet & American Life Project, in his prepared speech for last week's Internet Governance Forum USA. "Furthermore, our ability to pack lots more data into hard drives will keep pace. This will bring more people and more things tied together in the networked world." However, Rainie issues a warning by outlining four key uncertainties about where the Internet will go from here:
The first area of critical uncertainty involves the kind of internet we have -- from the standpoint of the internet’s architecture and its adoption.
The second involves what kind of information policies we have – that is, the kind of rules we develop about information property such as copyright, patents, and trademarks and the marketplace norms that apply to property.
The third involves the kind of policies and norms we develop about our online identities -- specifically, the policies and practices we construct about online privacy, anonymity, and surveillance.
The fourth area of uncertainty is that we do not yet know the full impact of the internet when it comes to economic, medical, social, and political outcomes. The social science community is just beginning to tackle issues related to the value of the internet -- both good and bad -- in empirical terms.
Text of Rainie's speech, The Unfinished Symphony: What we don’t know about the future of the internet. [JH]